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THE WAY WE LIVE NOW: Minneapolis Burning as Race Relations Flare

Black Lives Matter, they say. His life mattered, they say, until a police officer decided it didn’t. They say.

Minneapolis is the latest U.S. city whose threads are fraying and burning over race relations. Protesters see video footage of George Floyd, accused of forging a check, his neck trapped under police officer Derek Chauvin’s knee, pleading for his life as he labored to breathe. Breathing his last.

Two nights after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the city began to burn. A lone firefighter stared into a sea of blaze on May 27, 2020. (Chris Juhn/Zenger)

Thousands hit the streets—peaceful at first, even polite. A makeshift memorial attracted balloons and roses. The police chief fired four cops and the mayor demanded criminal prosecutions, but justice is a slow drip and Molotov cocktails create loud, roaring fires.

“Good cops are dead cops,” one vandal spray-painted not far from where paramedics found Floyd unconscious.

It wasn’t the first time a white cop killed a black suspect, and it won’t be the last.

This is how black Americans caught in the middle live now. Worrying and working to protect their spouses, their children, their neighbors’ children. And furious that they have to.

The name Trayvon Martin launched a protest movement seven years ago, and more names would follow.

Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Stephon Clark, Botham Jean, Cameron Lamb, Terence Crutcher, Laquan McDonald.

Those are just a few whose deaths fit neatly enough into quiet weeks or weekends to become news. There are more.

Arson doesn’t always follow, nor looters urging city-dwellers to “be the virus.” More shootings aren’t guaranteed amid chaos, nor innovative ways of cracking open ATMs to harvest what’s inside.

Two wrongs don’t make a right. But the color of a man’s skin shouldn’t matter either, they say.

About 1 in 1,000 black men and boys in America can expect to be killed by someone wearing a badge, according to Northwestern University research.

White men have it decidedly better. As usual, they say. And not just in Minneapolis.

It’s the same in New York and Cleveland and Charleston and Baltimore and Baton Rouge and Sacramento and Dallas and Kansas City and Tulsa and Chicago and in Ferguson, Missouri.

Our TV sets, mobile phones and car radios tell us, often, that something is wrong. Red-orange flames say some of us are angry beyond words.

Some. But we’re all here. We all hear. And then we don’t again.

Enraged and tired and numb is the way we live now.

A protester outside the 3rd precinct in Minneapolis raised his middle fingers at the police and said “Fuck you” on May 26, 2020 His shirt’s message, “Black Lives Matter,” has become a rallying cry for activists combating police brutality against African Americans. (Chris Juhn/Zenger)

 

Protesters gathered May 27 in front of Cup Foods in Minneapolis while they listened to speakers talk about the life of George Floyd, who died the day before during his arrest. (Chris Juhn/Zenger)

 

Protesters marched down Hiawatha Avenue in Minneapolis on Wednesday to protest Floyd’s killing by a 19-year police veteran who pinned his neck to the pavement with his knee. (Chris Juhn/Zenger)

 

A protester (left) vandalized a police squad car in Minneapolis on May 26, 2020 as others (at right) yelled for her to stop. Demonstrations turned violent behind the Minneapolis 3rd Police Precinct. (Chris Juhn/Zenger)

 

A protester stands defiantly with her fist in the air as police walk by her on May 26, 2020 in Minneapolis. (Chris Juhn/Zenger)

 

Police made tear gas canisters rain down on protesters in Minneapolis outside a Target store. The same store was the site of arson and looting 24 hours later. (Chris Juhn/Zenger)

 

“Be the virus” demands graffiti on an empty storefront window in Minneapolis on May 27, 2020. Protesters have complained about police firing tear gas into riots during a pandemic that also attacks the lungs. (Chris Juhn/Zenger)

 

An ATM was forced open and destroyed by looters at the US Bank location near Lake Street and Hiawatha in Minneapolis in the early morning hours of May 28, 2020. (Chris Juhn/Zenger)

 

Near the destroyed ATM, the US Bank sign was spray-painted by a vandal who wrote: “Good cops are dead cops.” (Chris Juhn/Zenger)

 

Standing and sitting on top of a car, two people share a beer and watch as a 190-unit affordable housing complex under construction burns to the ground after midnight on May 28, 2020. (Chris Juhn/Zenger)

 

Almost completed, the housing complex burned to ash along with a Wendy’s restaurant, while protesters watched. (Chris Juhn/Zenger)

The post THE WAY WE LIVE NOW: Minneapolis burning as race relations flare appeared first on Zenger News.

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